Amidst the devastation of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, access to the Gaza Strip has been extremely limited for journalists. However, amidst the chaos, FRANCE 24 correspondent Claire Duhamel managed to spend three hours embedded with Israeli army troops in northern Gaza, shedding light on the scene of destruction and turmoil.
In the northern villages of Gaza, the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) soldiers aggressively search every house in their pursuit of Hamas militants. The Israeli flags that now fly over the ruins of Gaza serve as a stark reminder of the authority they believe they have established. As Duhamel explores the area, an IDF soldier requests not to be filmed, fearing the worries that his wife may experience upon seeing his location. This interaction serves as a testament to the personal sacrifices made by those on the front lines.
Lieutenant-Colonel Gilad Pasternak, a commander overseeing five battalions in the region, acknowledges the risks that soldiers face. Mortar fire and drone attacks are constant threats that loom over them as they carry out their mission. Their objective also involves patrolling what they refer to as “humanitarian corridors,” providing civilians with a safer path to travel south, away from the more dangerous areas of conflict.
When questioned about the label of “forced displacement,” IDF Lieutenant Asher emphasizes that their actions are a response to Hamas’ initial invasion. While they are committed to assisting civilians, their primary focus is ensuring the safe return of their own people. However, as the ground offensive extends, the Israeli government finds itself subject to international criticism due to the increasing number of civilian casualties.
The notion of a “proportionate response” is a point of contention in the midst of war. Asher refutes this concept, highlighting the harsh reality that such a balance cannot truly exist when lives are at stake.
What is the current situation in Gaza?
Gaza is currently a war-torn region witnessing the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.
What are the Israeli army troops doing in Gaza?
The Israeli army troops are conducting a ground offensive in Gaza in search of Hamas militants and to establish control over the area.
What are the risks faced by the Israeli soldiers?
The soldiers face various risks, including mortar and drone fire, as they carry out their operations in Gaza.
What are the “humanitarian corridors” mentioned in the article?
The “humanitarian corridors” are safe routes designated by the Israeli forces to allow civilians to move to areas with less danger and violence.
Why is there international criticism of the Israeli government?
The Israeli government is facing international criticism due to the increasing number of civilian deaths as the ground offensive continues.